Coffee House

Disappointing 4G auction income is bad news for Osborne’s deficit plans

20 February 2013

10:56 AM

20 February 2013

10:56 AM

Oh dear. George Osborne’s claim in December’s Autumn Statement that ‘the deficit is coming down this year, and every year of this Parliament’ was already looking hubristic, even before today’s news that the 4G mobile spectrum auction raised just £2.3 billion, rather than the £3.5 billion that the Office for Budget Responsibility had forecast. As Fraser blogged in November, there were hopes that Britain would — like Ireland — raise even more than expected from the auction.

At the Autumn Statement, the OBR predicted that borrowing (once you strip out the effects of various one-off accounting changes, such as the transfer of Royal Mail pensions) would fall ever-so-slightly this year, from £121.4 billion in 2011-12 to £120.3 billion in 2012-13. The 2011-12 deficit has since been revised up to £121.6 billion, but that forecast for this year included the assumption that the spectrum auction would raise £3.5 billion. Since it came in £1.2 billion under, that would put borrowing at £121.5 billion — £0.1 billion lower than last year — assuming everything else comes in on target.

But it’s not looking likely that everything else will come in on target. Borrowing so far this year (April to December) has come in £7.2 billion (7.3 per cent) higher than in the same period last year.

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If it continues to overshoot by the same proportion for the last three months of the year, the deficit will end up at £128.1 billion — £6.5 billion higher than last year — even after the £2.3 billion proceeds from the 4G auction are included. Even if the government borrows only as much in January-March as it did last year, the deficit would be £126.5 billion — £4.9 billion higher than last year.

Why the overshoot? Well tax revenues haven’t grown as much as hoped. In particular, income tax and capital gains tax receipts so far are 1.3 per cent down on last year, whereas the OBR had forecast that they’d grow by 1 per cent. And central government core current spending (ie. excluding benefits and debt interest) is up by 2.3 per cent rather than the predicted 1.5 per cent (though that still represents a 0.2 per cent real-terms cut, as the cash rise is below inflation).

Of course, January is the key month for self-assessment and capital gains receipts, and the ONS is publishing those figures tomorrow. At the moment, Osborne’s boast that the deficit would fall this year looks unlikely to come true — but not impossible (as there’s so much uncertainty in both the forecasts and the ONS figures). Strong growth in tax receipts tomorrow (plus perhaps a few revisions in his favour) could just about allow Osborne to pull another rabbit out of his hat. But if it fails to materialise, it looks like he’ll have to eat humble pie at next month’s Budget. It just shows the folly of putting too much stock in forecasts that involve a large amount of uncertainty.

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Show comments
  • Chatterclass

    It was all a fudge. I still don’t understand why Maxwell committed a criminal offence by using his company’s pension fund to prop up the company, but Osborne can use the Royal Mail pension fund to reduce the deficit. What about the pensioners?

  • zanzamander

    And who will be able to afford 4G phones? Scroungers. i.e. those on welfare benefits, bankers, estate agents and politicians.

    • http://www.facebook.com/robin.horsley Robin Horsley

      Everyone! The auction only raised a little money so 4G will be much, much cheaper than expected! Great news isn’t it!

  • El_Sid

    “Let me ask you this: what does it take to get sacked from David Cameron’s Cabinet?
    Swear at a police officer and call him a ‘pleb’? And you’re defended to the hilt….

    So with Hilary Benn and Jack Dromey, this is what I propose. The Government is anticipating a windfall of up to £4bn from the sale of the 4G mobile phone spectrum…

    Let’s use that money from the 4G sale and build over the next two years: 100,000 new homes – affordable homes to rent and to buy – creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and getting our construction industry moving again. Add to that a stamp duty holiday for first time buyers buying homes up to £250,000 and we can deliver real help for people aspiring to get on the property ladder.

    Conference, a clear and costed plan to kick-start the economy and get people back to work”
    Ed Balls conference speech, October 2012

  • FrankS

    Isn’t awarding mobile phone licences – and TV and Rail franchises, come to that – ti the highest bidder a form of legalised bribery?
    At the very least, it’s a tax to be paid by the customers of the winning bidder.

    • Daniel Maris

      Yes, of itself, it adds no value to the economy and can do positive harm. Think about shale gas – the Crown will be milking the licence fees on that – even though it might be to the economic benefit of the nation to speed up development by waiving licence fees.

  • HJ777

    Given the size of the deficit that Osborne inherited, £1bn represents less than a rounding error.

    In the big scheme of things it matters little. A one-off difference from forecast of less than 1% of one year’s inherited deficit won’t make any appreciable difference.

    • David Lindsay

      £20 billion doesn’t. That’s the difference, less than the difference, between how much Osborne has raised and how much Brown raised for a less advanced version of the same thing.

      Osborne has of course increased the deficit significantly since coming to office, just as he has taken RBS back into the red, and just as he has taken the country back into recession. He is a part-timer, and he does not know the difference between deficit and debt.

      Far and away, George Osborne is the Worst Chancellor Ever.

      • HooksLaw

        You are an idiot. Who needs 4g. Clearly no one.

      • HJ777

        Please don’t try to get clever about 3G vs 4G licences. It’s an industry I know and understand well having spent many years in it. What is your knowledge?

        Why have 4G licences raised so much less all over Europe? Explain that.

        I could talk to you about the spectrum requirements of LTE, the fact that we are no longer in a tech bubble and many other aspects, but it would be way over your head.

        I am not Osborne’s biggest fan, but he has not “of course increased the deficit significantly since coming to office” he has reduced it by around one quarter. You don’t even bother to check basic facts, do you?

        As for him not understanding the difference between deficit and debt, perhaps you could point me to where he confused them (albeit Cameron certainly has)? Brown claimed (look it up on YouTube – he was talking to the “bigoted woman”) that his deficit reduction plan would “cut the debt in half in four years” – so either he didn’t understand the difference or he was lying. Hard to decide which was more likely

        As far as I am aware, Osborne doesn’t run RBS either.

        • David Lindsay

          I know enough to be able to spot a shortfall of one third. In a recession. While already massively in debt.

          And I know enough to be able to spot a £20 billion difference. For a less advanced version of the same thing.

          • HooksLaw

            In effect you admit to knowing nothing. Well maybe the price of everything and the value of nothing.

            • David Lindsay

              You’ll have to do better than that. Especially from your own of all political positions.

            • HJ777

              Looks like he has retired hurt now.

              Hopefully to reflect on the sheer stupidity of his posts.

          • HJ777

            It wasn’t a ‘shortfall’ – it was simply less than predicted. Auctions are always hard to predict.

            I don’t suppose that Osborne was responsible for the prediction – he probably knows as little about the industry as you do (i.e. nothing).

            In any case, what do you think he should or could have done to raise as much as the 3G licences did? A detailed explanation please including a discussion of spectrum and technical requirements for LTE (which are both highly pertinent to the value of the licences to network operators). I’m looking forward to discussing these details with you.

            • David Lindsay

              I don’t suppose that Osborne was responsible for the prediction

              Would that he were not allowed anywhere near decision-making. But he is.

              Either way, he would have been unfit for office. As he is.

              • HJ777

                Is that the best you can do when I asked you to explain what Osborne could have done to raise more from 4G licences?

                Do you understand the technical and spectrum differences between 4G and 3G? I do, but then I have a degree in physics and electronics (from Durham) plus many years working in the industry. What, exactly, do you know about the subject?

                • HooksLaw

                  be fair – he knows enough to be able to talk out of his backside on the subject. that takes some doing.

        • HooksLaw

          Well said your remark effectively shut Lindsay ujp and show him as the thicko he is.

        • David Lindsay

          As far as I am aware, Osborne doesn’t run RBS either

          Or as far as he knows. But that makes you both ignorant.

          • HooksLaw

            So does he run RBS? No. We all know he does not.
            But we all know who connived to ruin shareholder value in Lloyds TSB don’t we.

          • HJ777

            So he runs RBS, does he?

            Then tell us what he should have done to make it profitable? Yes, I am ignorant of what he could/should have done. You, on the other hand know, don’t you? So please enlighten us.

      • The Sage

        I agree that he is not reducing the deficit, let alone paying back any debt and he badly needs to slash state spending instead of tinkering around the edges. But in comparison with Gordon Brown, the man’s a genius.

        • David Lindsay

          That is quite possibly the worst non sequitur that I have ever seen.

      • http://www.facebook.com/robin.horsley Robin Horsley

        David, You are priceless. Economically and technically illiterate but you are not letting that stop you are you! Very amusing. I do hope for your own sake you don’t believe all that nonsense you are pumping out.

  • David Lindsay

    The Worst Chancellor Ever strikes again.

    The 4G auction has raised more than a billion pounds less than he said that it would.

    And more than 90 per cent less than the 3G auction did.

    Under the much-maligned Gordon Brown.

    • http://twitter.com/Shinsei1967 Nick Reid

      And the 3G auction was responsible for high tariff prices, poor service, poor coverage and the delay in rolling out 4G as the mobile phone companies had to find the £20bn plus they had paid in auction fees.

      A low auction price for 4G is actually good for the consumer and good for low inflation.

      And quite frankly £1bn is neither here nor there in relation to the size of the deficit. Though obviously will look bad politically. But as Jonathan says that is Osborne’s fault for boxing himself into these things (like claiming theAAA rating is key rather than “low gilt yields”).

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        The 3G Auction caused Handset Manufacturing to move from Europe to China and made sure that Vodafone et al paid no Corporation Tax for years. This Windfall Tax approach is bonkers

        • David Lindsay

          Yet it still raised 90 per cent more money than Osborne has managed. Even if he had reached his target, which he missed by about a third, then it would still have been more than £20 billion less than Brown brought in.

          • Geoff103

            How many times do you have to be told? Raising £20bn from the 3G auction was failure not success since it strangled the growth in services and exploitation of the market.

            As others have pointed out there were also other untoward and unwanted side effects.

            Certainly it would have been better to have achieved the £3bn+ target than not but any comparison with the huge sums paid for the 3G spectrum is not, as you seem to think, a sign of failure.

            • David Lindsay

              That’s right. Raising more than £20 billion was a disaster. Raising about £2 billion, and that only two thirds of the asking price, for an upgraded version of the same thing is a triumph.

              The rules are just different if you are Tory. Whatever you do is a triumph, whatever you say is plain common sense. Whatever the other lots does is a disaster, whatever the other lot says is ideologically doctrinaire lunacy.

              Fleet Street still believes this rubbish implicitly. But the electorate now longer gives it the time of day, and if anything now believes the opposite.

              • Geoff103

                Look, you might begin to make some sense if you thought about things a little more slowly rather than just use that bl**dy great chip on your shoulder as your mouthpiece.

                Far, far better to pluck the goose gently, enjoy it’s golden eggs for years to come and further generations of goose than strip, roast and eat it in one glorious, blow-out of a meal and have nothing to assuage your hunger for years to come.

                In the 3G case it was even worse, the £20bn blow-out not only strangled the potential out of the economics of 3G but the proceeds were simply p*ss*d up the wall and down the drain in one glorious golden shower.

                • David Lindsay

                  You mean spent on the people who use things like the NHS and state schools. Well over 90 per cent of the population.

                  It is always good to hear from the only people whom either Coalition party has ever really represented.

                • HooksLaw

                  How does a one off windfall equate to regular spending? regular spending needs a properly based economy able to generate revenues.
                  Brown based his on the false dawn of bankers bonuses. even when he had growth the revenues never matchjed his spending plans and he ran up bigger deficits.
                  So under labour ambitions were only met from borrowing.

                  As others point out the 20 billion strangled the real economy and its potential. Again you demonstrate your thickness.

                  If you want to criticise Osborne it should be on the basis that he did not give away the licences.

                • HJ777

                  The 3G licences were a one-off. The revenue wasn’t spent on the people who use things like the NHS and state schools.

                  Wanless said in his 2007 report that nearly half of all the extra ANNUAL expenditure on the NHS had gone on higher pay for existing staff. New hospitals were financed by PFI (i.e. we haven’t paid for them yet).

                  More was spent on the schools budget. I well remember the year when the Labour government announced a 9% increase in the schools budget. Teachers pay went up by 3% that year, employers NI by 1%, employers contribution to the teachers pension scheme by 4%. So the real increase was around 1%. Meanwhile, after 10 years of Labour government, my local comprehensive school was practically falling down and they even resorted to putting up pictures of their decaying buildings on their web site in an appeal for more money.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  That’s right and NHS that needlessly killed 1200 people in mid-Staffs alone and an education system that produces pupils with devalued qualifications and unfit to work. The Coalition has done one thing right – it rid the country of Gordon Brown.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                It was how Brown spent the money which was a disaster bequeathing us with the largest structural deficit in peacetime history. So no Gordon Brown is not much maligned.

          • HooksLaw

            Empty vessels make the most noise.
            Give up.
            Nobody believes you – indeed everybody knows you are talking cobblers. Desperate cobblers at that

            • David Lindsay

              I assume that that is addressed to George Osborne.

              • HooksLaw

                look at the little arrow and who its pointing to.

                we cannot accuse Brown of making much noise at the moment he has disappeared from parliament but ]still takes his salary.

          • realfish

            Raised more money…and it was all squandered

        • HJ777

          The real problem with the 3G auction was not that handset manufacture moved to China, but that infrastructure design and development was largely withdrawn from the UK as a result of the implementation delays caused.

          I worked in the industry at the time as a supplier to the major development centres. I well remember a meeting with the engineering team of a major customer where they said “Before we start, we need to tell you that we have all just been made redundant and the design will be taken over by a team outside the UK”.

      • David Lindsay

        Over £20 billion is both here and there in relation to the size of the deficit. That is the difference between how much Brown (boo! hiss!) raised and how much Osborne has managed.

        • http://twitter.com/Shinsei1967 Nick Reid

          The £20bn 3G auction sums were largely offset by lower tax revenues from the mobile carriers. Had no substantial impact on overall debt levels long term.

          • David Lindsay

            There you go again.

            Osborne ought to resign after this, and withdraw from public life entirely. It is as simple as that. He is now in abject disgrace.

            And it beggars belief that there are still people who screech and scream about the awfulness of Gordon Brown. Of course, at the last Election, the Tories had no other material. Whereas Labour will have all the material in the world by 2015.

            • http://twitter.com/Shinsei1967 Nick Reid

              Interesting. You have no response to an evidenced argument just off-topic personal attacks.

              If you think raising £20bn from the 3G auction was good economics please state why.

              • David Lindsay

                If you think that raising 90 per cent less, and that during a recession, is good economics, then please state why.

                • HJ777

                  Why are you mouthing off about an industry about which you know precisely nothing?

                  There are very good technical and commercial reasons why the 3G auction raised so much and the current one raised relatively little (I worked in the industry for years). The idea that it has much to do with George Osborne is laughable.

                  But then your views are mostly laughable. Do you have any real world experience? Ever worked in industry? Thought not.

                • HooksLaw

                  You are thick. Who needs 3g – nobody. Thats why the projected figures were only 3.5 billion in the first place.
                  But again you demonstrate that labour and socialism relies on thickness and ignorance and poor education to survive. To live under socialism is to live under serfdom.

                  telemach’s adoration of stalin is a case in point.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  No. All of his views are laughable.

                • http://twitter.com/Shinsei1967 Nick Reid

                  It’s been explained to you about three times now.

                  The £20bn raised in the auction was offset by higher prices/worse service for the 40m mobile phone users and lower taxes for the government (to spend on the schools & NHS) from Vodafone/O2/Orange et al as they offset the auction costs against tax and had lower taxable profits.

                  Like a lot of Brownian economics it was all an illusion.

                • David Lindsay

                  Like the non-recession on the day of the last General Election, presumably.

                • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

                  I am in favour of a Digital Spectrum Tax on the BBC which has never paid for Spectrum unlike ITV. I think a one-off levy on the BBC should be imposed and the Licence Fee declassified as a Tax making it no longer enforceable in Criminal Law

            • HJ777

              He should resign because the 4G licence auction raised £1bn less than was forecast (and not by him)?

              Whereas Brown, who missed his deficit targets by well over £1bn in each and every year from 2002 onwards was a much better chancellor?

              How did you work that out then?

        • HooksLaw

          Brown did not raise it you numpty – the market and ,market forces raised it.
          As Reid alludes, we would be better off as a nation if the licences had either been given away (as in Japan?) or the money directly invested ion fast fibre optic broadband.
          As it is Brown just used the windfall to fiddle the books.

          • David Lindsay

            That’s right. Spending money on the common people, with their vile little state schools and their NHS and their public transport and their non-inherited houses, is “fiddling the books.”

            Thank God that you people will soon be out of office for ever and ever and ever.

            • HooksLaw

              Now you are reduced to inventing accusations You are immensely thick and bigoted.
              he fiddled the books by using the money to pay off debt and make his other spending look realistic. It allowed him to break his self imposed rules.

              In labours last manifesto Brown promised 20 billion in efficiency savings in the NHS. Why did he spend the money in the first place if the money can now be saved? He wasted it.

              • David Lindsay

                he fiddled the books by using the money to pay off debt

                Well, no one could accuse George Osborne of that…

                • HooksLaw

                  to make his golden rule look good. The money disappeared – and as others point out only to reappear as higher charges and tax losses.

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

              “with their vile little state schools” You said it, but who could possibly disagree ? that is what they have become

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              I agree state schools are vile. God help anybody consigned to the murderous clutches of the NHS.

            • 2trueblue

              Yes, your friends spent lots of money on the NHS and schools. What they forgot is that you also have to raise standards. The fact that they had no idea how to do this is evidenced in the north Staffs scandal (and more to be named) and the low standards schools have achieved in Liebores time.

        • HJ777

          Yes, it is a bit less than one seventh of the ANNUAL deficit that Brown left us with.

    • andagain

      Under the much-maligned Gordon Brown.

      Who brilliantly sold off our gold reserves just before the price went up. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t.

      • David Lindsay

        Shameless whataboutery.

        He was far better than Osborne. Darling was far better than Osborne. Every other Chancellor, ever, has been better than Osborne. Most of them by a very long way.

        • http://twitter.com/Shinsei1967 Nick Reid

          He even informed the markets he was about to dump half the UK’s gold. That’s a schoolboy error of epic proportions.

          Like most of Brown’s plans they all unravelled horribly with time. His bank regulation resulted in biggest financial disaster for a couple of generations, a UK economy ever increasingly reliant on consumer debt and an overblown housing market, manufacturing industry collapsing at fast rate for 40 years. All this happened on Brown’s watch.

          I agree however that Darling was an excellent Chancellor. Read his memoirs, he thought Brown was rubbish too.

          Osborne is playing an appalling hand competently, if nothing more.

          • David Lindsay

            The bank non-regulation was due to screaming from people like you and from publications such as this one. Like the Mid Staffordshire NHS scandal, the problem was the implementation of Tory policies enforced by that party’s newspaper cartel and television monopoly.

            Osborne is the Worst Chancellor Ever, as of today more than twenty billion times worse than Brown was.

            • HooksLaw

              The bank regulation was due to BROWN. And of course BALLS. they set it up in the midst of their own hubris.
              The ability of left wing liars and bigots to rewrite history knows no bounds.
              Again Mr Lindsay demonstrates what a disaster it would be if labour were returned to power.
              The biggest clear and present danger to the UK is a return of a labour government.

              • David Lindsay

                Absolutely guaranteed in 2015.

                What would you had instead for the banks? Well, there you are, then. His only fault was listening to you people and to our bellowing insistence that your criminally insane ideology is self-evident common sense.

                • HooksLaw

                  Brown listened to Balls. You are immeasurably thick.

                • David Lindsay

                  Believe me, I am very able to deal with some braying public school rugby club bore and boor who thinks that being rich makes him clever, and who expects to be agreed with automatically because is daddy can sack or evict anyone who does not show the proper deference. I am surprised that you are not in the Cabinet. If you are not.

                • HooksLaw

                  me public school? my dad worked down the pit. Like i said you are terminally thick

                • David Lindsay

                  I bet he did.

                • HooksLaw

                  He did. So did his brother and brother in law. So did my grandad.

                • David Lindsay

                  Yes, I’m sure. It gave your family name “Bowes-Lyon” over the entrance, so you must have been down it with (as is true) the Duchess of Cambridge’s ancestors. Of course.

                • HooksLaw

                  Keep going … the more you go on the more desperate your original pointless meaningless and false accusation becomes.

                • David Lindsay

                  Touched a raw nerve, I see.

                  I’m Northern middle class myself. You don’t fool me.

            • HJ777

              There was plenty of bank regulation under Brown – it was bad regulation.

              • David Lindsay

                Point proved.

                • HJ777

                  What point do you think has been proved, exactly?

            • http://twitter.com/Shinsei1967 Nick Reid

              I certainly didn’t, and I don’t recall the Spectator, “screaming” for the regulation of the UK banking system to be taken from the Bank of England, who had done a pretty good job for 300 years (thru 2 world wars, great depression, multiple housing booms/busts and coming off gold standard) and given to the toothless and useless FSA.

              That was Brown. Meddling in stuff he didn’t fully understand and was too arrogant to take advice.

        • HooksLaw

          Laughable.

          Brown was an appallingly bad chancellor and ran increasing deficits when we had growth and should have been paying down debt instead.
          Darling ignored reality and cut taxes and increased spending to keep Labour afloat until the election. Gross dereliction of his duty – to the country that is.

          Your bigotry in defence of people who ruined Britain is sick.

          • David Lindsay

            Take it up with the voters, who spoke last May even in Chipping Norton, who are going to wipe the ConDems of the English county map this May, who are going to wipe them off the European Parliamentary map next May, and who are going to wipe them off the parliamentary map the May after that.

            Quite right, too. There was no recession on the day of the last General Election. The man who took RBS back into the red has now managed this, too. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, the Worst Chancellor Ever.

            • HooksLaw

              Darling spent 2 years spending like a drunk in a brewery letting borrowing rise ever higher to prop up the economy until after the election.
              This govts spending plans are virtually the same as Darlings. Take a look at Germany a 0.6% contraction last quarter. Italy down 0.9%.

              You are absurd beyond parody.

              • David Lindsay

                And yet there was no recession once Darling left office.

                Like you could read these things!

                • HooksLaw

                  Because he spent billions we did not have and never could have propping up the economy. Look at all the extra debt interest we have to pay for now thanks to Darlings extra spending.

                  And of course since then we have seen the collapse of the eurozone and our export markets.
                  Go back to reading your comics.

                • David Lindsay

                  Bit early for drunken dribbling and drivelling even in your class, isn’t it? It’s only just noon. This is port and brandy stuff.

                • HooksLaw

                  pork pie.
                  So no answer no knowledge no sense

                • David Lindsay

                  Point proved.

                • HooksLaw

                  laughable

                • David Lindsay

                  Yes, you are now. That is why, even after the Coalition, we are still not going to trouble ourselves to cut off your heads in 2015. We are just going to laugh at you until the end of time, and charge tourists to do the same.

                • HooksLaw

                  Hysterical

                • David Lindsay

                  It certainly will be.

                  Not least because, in the other sense of the word, you certainly will be, and already are.

                • HooksLaw

                  No all the arguments are won – everyone knows your initial outburst was a load of cobblers and your antics since have been pathetic. Numerous people who know what they are talking about have defenestrated you. Comprehensively. Its been painful to watch.

                • David Lindsay

                  On the contrary, I am thoroughly enjoying myself.

                  You don’t win just because your daddy owns the field of play, the bat and the ball, and you want to go home so you have to be declared the winner and the game ended. Those are not the rules here.

                  Alas, though, they are the only rules that you know. Touchingly picturesque, if kept under control. But never, ever to be allowed anywhere near the running of anything. And never to be, soon enough.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Ignore him. He is just a sad little man screaming at a world that refuses to listen.

                • 2trueblue

                  When all else fails use threats.

                • 2trueblue

                  Buy yourself a parrot.

        • 2trueblue

          The man who ran off in Liebores last days and gave another £11billion to the EU? A really well motivated, good Chancellor, doing his duty? You really are deluded.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004981542519 Tom Tom

        Yes but he had to sell off gold after telling the markets he would sell gold so he could make good the missing tranches of German gold loaned out to banks in London and New York when Germany demanded delivery in 1999

    • HooksLaw

      Who needs 4g -? Where is the value of it? The auction prices have nothing to do with who is chancellor. And the OBR predicted the price, and since no one knew what the price would be its anybody’s guess.
      What benefit did the 22 billion of 3g money do to anybody? It just put up prices for the service and robbed us all.

      Brown merely used it as a windfall to make his borrowing figures look good and dim journalists at the time every bit as dim as Mr Jones fell for it.

    • HJ777

      I agree – we are still seeing the appalling after-effects of Gordon Brown’s chancellorship.

      Neither do you understand anything about the mobile phone industry. The 3G auction led to this country going from a world leader in infrastructure equipment development to a a situation where all the major players moved their development out of the UK. Trust me – that was the industry I worked in.

      • telemachus

        Nothing to do with Gordon chum
        That was your city friends draining too much money out of technology industries who needed the capital

        • HooksLaw

          So if the behaviour of people in the economy then was not Browns fault then how is the behaviour of people in the economy now all Osborne’s fault?
          Typical socialist wants it all ways. Typical lying socialist.
          What are you doing this year to celebrate Stalins birthday. Buy an engraved ice pick?

          • telemachus

            On the contrary I was a great believer in the international nature of socialism
            The city has always tried to thwart reasonable administrations while propping up the selfish right wing governments
            You scratch my back

            • HooksLaw

              And Stalins birthday?

              • telemachus associates

                Year on year just before Christmas we light one candle for Frank Zappa and one for Uncle Joe

        • HJ777

          I have spent my working life in the “technology industries” so I can tell you that you are talking nonsense.

          As ever.

          • HooksLaw

            ‘working life’ – thats where you have it over him

    • CharlietheChump

      The boy Osborne is a failure and vain but at least he’s sane.

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